Showing posts with label gary barlow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gary barlow. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Gary Barlow would quite like to apologise

It's now three months since Gary Barlow and some of his chums were found to be "avoiding" tax by putting their money into a made-up scheme to allow rich people to shirk their responsibilities.

Gary has finally got around to sort-of-muttering an apology.

After three months. It's true, there are some operations you'd wait longer for on the NHS, but that's partly because rich people like Gary Barlow put their cash into dubious schemes to avoid paying their share of taxes.

Still, three months in the making, so let's hear it, Gary:

Three months. Two tweets. He's been writing his apology at 35 characters a week.

Three months. And what do we get?
I want to apologise to anyone who was offended by the tax stories earlier this year
There's no need, Gary. Genuninely no need to apologise, as nobody was offended by "the tax stories". In fact, we were grateful for the tax stories.

It's your tax affairs you ought to be apologising for, chuckles. The idea of very, very wealthy men investing in a company designed to lose money just so they could keep a few extra pennies out of paying for the police, and roads, and schools - that's what was offensive.

Not that you were found out and some people wrote about it.

And what does "working to settle things with all parties ASAP" even mean? Maybe you're going to write a cheque to the Exchequer - although I suspect if you were, you'd be a bit more explicit about that - but that doesn't "settle things", because it doesn't undo the fact that, when the nation was passing the hat round to pay for things we all share, your first thought was to try and avoid chipping in.

And you can't even bring yourself to say 'sorry' properly.

Leave your OBE on the hall table and sod off back to your mansion, Barlow.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Gary Barlow to launch investigation into how he could have been avoiding tax

I think the most heartbreaking thing about Gary Barlow's response to his tax "avoiding" ways is that it's taken him months of knotted-brow think-clunking to come up with the "I know, I'll pretend that when I signed off on that scheme that was going to save me all that tax, nobody told me I was signing off on a scheme that was going to avoid tax" defence:

He is now investigating how accounting staff allowed his money to be put into the fund.

The singer has vowed to “leave no stone unturned”.
It's not clear yet whether Barlow has appointed a person to carry out this investigation into Barlow, but rumours suggest he might invite Gary Barlow to lead the inquiry.
A source close to the star revealed: “This is an incredibly complex issue and Gary is looking into it carefully.

"He is trying to get to the bottom of it."
'For instance, just yesterday, he went through one of the big chests stuffed with money and jewels to see if he could find any of the paperwork relating to the tax scheme.' (Pictured)

The "source" is keen to stress that there's no way that Gary could be expected to know what he was doing:
“Gary’s view is that he put his trust in the hands of financial experts. He is a musician, he knows nothing about money, he never has, so he entrusted people to advise him.

“He writes music and he sings and he pays finance ­experts to keep his money safe and do the right thing with it.

"Gary isn’t evil, he isn’t a money grabber and he is very upset about this."
Very, very upset. You know, how can you be expected to know when your financial advisors tell you that putting your money into a scheme will magic away your tax liabilities that that's a bad thing to do, right?
“He isn’t passing the buck ­either.

“He is trying to sort this out, to make sure others don’t find themselves in the same position.”
That's Gary Barlow, there, bravely not passing the buck by, erm, blaming his advisors and threatening to sue them.

You'll notice that Barlow's ire is directed at finding out who got him involved in the arrangements that got him into trouble. If he was really contrite, wouldn't he be trying to get sympathetic journalists to write about how he's investigating if he's been badly advised into joining other schemes?


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Twittergem: Barlow's OBE


Saturday, May 10, 2014

That nice Gary Barlow has all our money

Ah, Gary Barlow. Isn't he lovely? Isn't he a lovely, lovely man? Isn't he just lovely, lovely, willing to help everyone?

Except when he, Howard Donald, Mark Owen and That manager Jonathan Wild are avoiding £20million worth of tax.

But he's lovely, isn't he?

In the past he has been praised for raising millions for charity in the UK.

Barlow’s fundraising efforts for BBC Children in Need included concerts with star names playing for free. In 2013 they raised over £1.7 million and were described by the BBC as “amazing”.
You see? He's lovely. Happy to help society by getting other people to give their money to try and patch up the holes created by people like him failing to fulfil their responsibilities. He's not a monster.

Lovely, lovely, Gary Barlow OBE.

Jason Orange hasn't avoided tax, although HMRC report that Gary Barlow's insistence that Orange is paid solely in mangelwurzels and turnips has always made it difficult to fix a rate at which he should be charged. Tax records show in 2012/13, Orange received a small tax refund in the form of three parsnips.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

There's apparently something called "the Gary Barlow effect", which is leading people to wear more suits. According to the Telegraph.

Can the paper illustrate this 'Gary Barlow effect' by showing us pictures of men, usually more casually dressed, out and about on the town looking smarter than we're used to seeing?

Oh, hang about. Those might be two separate stories on the front page of today's paper. There isn't any suggestion that that is the Gary Barlow effect.

What is this effect, then?
"When you look at boy bands and television presenters, they all look smart. Look at Gary Barlow on New Year's Eve," Brian Brick, Moss Bros chief executive, said.

"Men are not just wearing suits for work, but going out in the evening. They are going out in a jacket and jeans. We have certainly benefited from that."
Men wearing jeans on nights out? There's a trend. Why haven't we heard more of this?

The trouble with this theory is that Brian Brick seems to be assume Gary Barlow is some sort of dangerous, wild rock figure who has embraced the suit as an act of counterintuitive rebellion.

More honestly, though, Gary Barlow is dressing like an accountancy firm's middle manager because that's kind of what he is, surely?


Saturday, December 07, 2013

Gary Barlow day is ruined

The BBC - presumably sensing it was sailing towards a rerun of the U2 at the BBC disaster - has suddenly got cold feet over Gary Barlow Day.

The day's original plans have been scaled back. These included numerous appearances across Radio 2, along with Gary's face being superimposed on BBC One's swimming hippos; a special edition of Bake Off where contestants had to create cakes shaped like Gary Barlow; Gary dancing in the background of the News At Six; the entire BBC website having every word changed to GARY for ten minutes; Gary doing the travel for BBC Lincolnshire and Barlow running up and down the stairs at New Broadcasting House wearing the skin of Lord Reith.

Now, showing some restraint, the day will instead consist of Jason Orange doing Ken Bruce's popmaster with one question having the answer "Gary Barlow".


Monday, October 07, 2013

Gary Barlow: How deep is your self-love

Gary Barlow really isn't bothered how many copies his solo album sells:

‘This is going to sound wrong, but I couldn’t care less (if it’s not successful). I’m not looking to sell 10million albums,’ he told ES Magazine.
If only there was some way we could measure just how unconcerned Barlow is about selling records.
The 42-year-old is said to have spent thousands of pounds to promote his forthcoming release by paying for advertising posters to appear on the streets of ITV hit soap Coronation Street.
Ah, yes: nothing says "I am unconcerned about sales" like a hugely expensive campaign to shove product placement onto one of the most-watched programmes in the country.


Friday, March 29, 2013

Gordon in the morning: Robbie Williams so desperate to be in Oasis he's trying to start a war with Blur

Does anyone really care what Robbie Williams thinks about Blur? Really? Tell us then, Gordon:

he singled out Alex for criticism after accusing The Sun columnist of “not being very nice to him”.

Robbie said: “Alex is the bassist in Blur — my nan could do that. All she needs is a new haircut.”
Let's not pause to reflect that being in Take That is a job so simple, Howard Donald is able to hold the role down, and just probe this further.

It turns out that Williams is carrying a grudge:
He explained he first met the band during a TV show appearance in Manchester with TAKE THAT when he was just 16. Robbie said: “From what I now know, looking back, they were suffering from a little bit of middle-class angst.

“I did feel like I was part of the s*** beneath their shoes for being in a boyband.”
There's a bit of confusion between class angst and artistic angst there, and there's the other possibility that maybe Take That, and Robbie in particular, were annoying back then. ("Back then".)

It all ends up with Robbie wailing that he's the victim here:
He said: “There is a lot of snobbery towards pop music, to me and pop in general — it’s kind of a despised art form.

“There’s a lot of ‘Check out that fat ****, he’d be nothing without GUY CHAMBERS.’

“I’m coming from a place of, ‘Hang on, I’m being picked on here, I don’t like it.’”
Actually, Robbie, pop doesn't need you to defend it; it's like KFC defending Fast Food: might be from the field, but not the best placed to argue the value of what they do.

And put your mind at rest, Robbie. Nobody says you'd be nothing without Guy Chambers. They also acknowledge that you'd be lost without Gary Barlow, too.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Gary Barlow closes label so his money can spend more time with his family

Who even remembered that Gary Barlow had set up a record label?

He doesn't any more, as he's folded it.

He told The Sun it was just a time thing:

"It's been a very difficult decision but it came down to time. I've had a lot going on recently and I want to spend more time with my family."
It seems the four million quid he'd lost on the adventure had slipped his mind as easily as it had seeped out of Future's balance sheets.

It's hard to believe that a label featuring such delights as Aggro Santos and Emma's Imagination - winner of Sky's Must Be The Music, of course - could grind to a halt.

Let's just cast our mind back to how it was in the early days, when Gordon Smart predicted great things:


SIMON COWELL had better look out – a talented, younger and more popular music mogul is shaping up to steal his crown.

Industry insiders at the bash revealed GARY BARLOW has been given his own record label by his Universal bosses so he can snap up hot new acts.

He has already started work signing his first artist – a young male singer – and the lucky lad is now working with Gary and songwriting pal CATHY DENNIS.

The lucrative agreement is Gary’s reward from Universal’s head honcho LUCIAN GRAINGE for the amazing success of TAKE THAT’s comeback.

An industry source said last night: “It’s a masterstroke. With Gary’s incredible writing ability and contacts, the acts will be in the best possible hands.”
Oh, Lucian. How you must be wishing you'd just got him a really nice vase as a reward instead.


Thursday, November 08, 2012

Gary Barlow: the Wilderness years

So, as Gary Barlow picked up his Music Industry Trust Award he gave a little speech:

Barlow himself reminded the audience at the Grosvenor hotel that it hadn't always been easy for him, saying in his acceptance speech that "I loved the fact that I spent seven years in the wilderness, doing a lot of eating".
The wilderness, eh? As self-aggrandising claims go, comparing yourself to Jesus is one of the biggies. But was Barlow really, like Jesus, out in the desert having his faith tempted? The "lot of eating" reference suggests superficially that, had the devil suggested he turned stones to bread for a bit of lunch, Barlow would have said he'd already eaten, but more specifically, was Barlow experiencing a period of self-imposed exile?

There was a period when nobody bought his solo records - mainly because they were godawful - but that isn't going into the wilderness; a closer biblical parallel would be that of the scapegoat, with Barlow being made to carry the sin of Take That's collapse.

But after that, Barlow was busy writing songs for people like Charlotte Church and Shirley Bassey. So, not exactly alone and out in the wilds, then.


Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Music Industry Trust honours famous tax dodger

Really, Music Industry Trust? You couldn't think of anyone who actually pays their taxes to give your Award to?

Gary Barlow picked up the prize, and the MIT fawned all over him:

It’s probably true to say that, in what is already a remarkable career, 2012 has been like no other year for Gary. I can’t think of another artist who works with both Simon Cowell and Her Majesty The Queen; eventful is an understatement.
Funny thing, that: working with the Queen. A woman funded from central taxation, which Barlow goes out of his way to avoid paying. Let's give him a prize, shall we?


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gordon in the morning: X Factor in danger of becoming a 'pantomime'

All is not happy over at The X Factor, within the tolerances of the word "is":

FUMING Gary Barlow has threatened to quit X Factor if a similar shambles to Sunday’s deadlock drama ever happens again.

The Take That singer, 41, summoned host Dermot O’Leary and show chiefs to an emergency meeting to discuss his ultimatum last night.

The head judge is said to want to “put a stop to tricks” and end “pantomime” on the show.
Demanding an end to pantomime on the X Factor is akin to requesting they drop the cakes from The Great British Bake-Off.

Indeed, the presence of Dermot at this latter-day Yalta Conference points towards this being as much part of the great pantomime as anything - why would you want the conduit there? Isn't this a job for the producers?

Apparently, at the weekend, someone who could sing a bit got sent home leaving someone else who couldn't really sing that well but was a show-off. Like kicking out Mark Owen to make room for Robbie Williams, if you will.

So, what is the upshot of all this foot-stamping and toy-tossing?
The Sun can reveal he will return this weekend — on the condition that his demands are met.
Altogether now: Oh no, they didn't...


Friday, September 14, 2012

Gordon in the morning: Misjudgement

This morning Gordon carries an interview with Robbie Williams designed to promote Williams' new range of overpriced trousers. Except, somehow, it comes out like this:

How would anyone involved think it appropriate to build a 'buy some clothes' piece around somebody else's tragedy? I don't doubt the sincerity of the sentiments, but it feels incredibly tacky when written down with a final paragraph about Williams' new single.


Saturday, September 01, 2012

Love Ain't Here Anymore: Whatever happened to Gary and Dave's big competiton?

Back in the days of the 2010 election campaign, Gary Barlow and David Cameron shared a stage in Nantwich to launch a major, eyecatching initiative. Political Scrapbook is wondering whatever happened to it?

It was to be the School Stars scheme, and the Tories press released the buttocks out of it:

"Nothing brings people together like music, said Cameron, speaking at a school in Nantwich. "With School Stars we’re going to see kids practising together in the corridors, forming bands, getting together in lunch-breaks to sing and dance."

The competition will use the inspirational power of music to reach as many pupils as possible with a format which will unearth talent, ability and excellence around the country.

The initiative is backed by Gary Barlow, one of the most successful British songwriters of all time as well as by commercial radio stations and major players in the music industry.


As Political Scrapbook point out, it's gone a bit quiet since then.

The assumption would be that the School Stars Scheme came to nothing, but that isn't true at all.

Dave got a photo-op with one of the-then most popular members of Take That in the run up to an election.

And Gary? Gary was rewarded for his work helping get Dave to Number 10 not just with an OBE, but also by being protected when his dodgy tax arrangements came to light.

Oh, yes, those kids who Dave was wanting to pump with self-belief might have got bugger all out of it, but that was never the point, was it?

[Thanks to Michael M]


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Gordon in the morning: Barlow garlands

Gordon is announcing this morning that Gary Barlow is being nominated for a Music Industry Trusts Award.

Hmm. Really? The Music Industry Trusts is going to give its prize to someone who has been accused of using music industry investments as a way to avoid paying their fair share of tax.

Are they sure that's such a good idea?

At a time when, say, music education in schools is being cut back couldn't the Music Industry Trusts find someone who isn't averse to helping out by not trying to avoid the taxes that fund services like that?

I don't often say this, but well done to Gordon Smart for revealing this scandal in the making. (I don't think that's what he thought he was doing, obviously.)


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Gordon in the morning: Barlow hugs the Lord

Given how toe-curling that Jubilee song was, can anyone be anything other than mortified by the news that celebrity tax-dodge-loopholer-exploiter Gary Barlow is teaming up again with Andrew Lloyd Webber?

The Lord explains:

"I’ve come up with the tune this time and he’s already emailed me with lyrics this morning. It hasn’t got a title yet.

“Gary’s going to be down in Majorca this summer and so will I, so we’ll get together and something will come out of it.”
It's not unusual for Brits to head to Majorca in the summer, making something unpleasant while they're down there; this one might take more than a bottle of Flash and a hosepipe to clear away.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Gary Barlow: The white man's burden

If your toes curled at the "savages with spears" sequence of Gary Barlow's jubilee video, but were clinging to the hope it was well-meant but clumsy, I'm afraid it gets worse this morning as Gary Barlow gives an interview to The Sun in which he trots out the 'I saw a black person and thought they were going to eat me' line that you might have thought hasn't been seen outside a Punch pocket cartoon since the 1960s:

After travelling by canoe for six hours to the remote Pacific isle of Malaita, he was completely taken by surprise when he was surrounded by members of the clan wearing necklaces decorated with TEETH.

He told TV Biz how he was scared for his life and worried he would become the victim of cannibalism.

Gary said: “We were all white men and there were only eight of us.

“I really did think, ‘They’ve taken us all this way up the river and they could kill us and eat us alive and no one would know’.”
Just while that's sinking in, you might also want to ponder how Gary thinks you could be first killed, and then eaten alive.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Gary Barlow loves the Queen

While we're on the subject of Sing, Gary Barlow's Official Diamond Jubilee Song, let's just take a quick look at it:

Don't bother hitting the play button, it's dreadful, obviously, and always seems to have an advert for Internet Explorer stuck at the front of it.

What's incredible is that Barlow has managed to turn out a crappy Christmas single that doesn't even have the saving grace of being near Christmas to generate goodwill.

And the video. Oh, lord, the video. At one point, there are angry black people running out the forest waving spears - but don't worry, because Barlow calms them down with his winning smile and mellow tune.

Perhaps Barlow misunderstood the brief, and thought he was celebrating Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, where that sort of portrayal of angry natives being taught how to be civilised by the white man was still - just about - in vogue.

When he's not setting ethnography back a century, Barlow falls back onto cliche - if this is Australia, we'll need a shot of the Opera House; even the opening shot of a slightly stiff Charles muttering with Barlow is what you'd expect.

And then there's the Barlow. For a song that's supposedly about how great the Queen is, it looks oddly like a video about how great Gary Barlow is.

In fact, he's touring the world, looking interested in what the locals are up, listening politely, sometimes joining in, in a good-natured way. Maybe Gary doesn't see himself as the Prince William of Take That. It looks a lot like Barlow sees himself as, if not actually being the Queen, at least as playing her role in the video.


Gordon in the morning: This is like That

We're knee-deep in the fawnathon for the Jubilee, and Gary Barlow is leading the fawning:

GARY Barlow has branded Prince Harry the “Robbie Williams of the Royal Family”.
I'm pretty certain that's treasonable, isn't it?

Oh, hang on, he means it as a compliment:
“Harry is the star of the Royal Family, he is the Robbie of the Royal Family.”
You can hear the unsaid here, as Barlow thinks "and I'm the William, the one who does all the work and gets overhsadowed by the gurning clown time after time... but I SHALL BE THE KING.. So, in your face, Harry/William."

Other members of Take That are, obviously, Prince Edward, I'm afraid.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Brian May grumbles at lack of Brian May in Jubilee bunfight

Who can forget the Golden Jubilee, when Brian May stood on top of Buckingham Palace playing 'Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee'?

Nobody can forget. Nobody can. Sometimes it might slip from your mind for a few seconds, but then Andrew Marr looms into your face, waving the video of the event: "It's evidence for how vital and amazing the Queen remains" enthuses Marr, "that she can have an actual rock star on the roof of the actual house she sometimes lives in. Isn't the Queen marvellous? She's marvellous. Like some sort of marvellous marvel - and she's cheap. If you had a president, it would cost three times as much, you know."

It's a little-known fact that May has remained on the Palace roof for the last ten years, surviving on energy bars lobbed up to him by Prince Harry. "I'm clearly going to be asked to stand on the roof and play 'I'm 'Enery The Eight I Am' to mark the Diamond Jubilee, so it's not worth coming down" May has explained.

But - oh dear - Gary Barlow, who has been put in charge of the "gig" - has chosen not to ask May to play. Not that May's bitter about it:

“No, we haven’t been asked at all which is a shame — maybe next time we will, perhaps the one after diamond, whatever that is,” May, 64, tells [The Telegraph's Tim Walker] at the Whatsonstage.com awards concert at the Prince of Wales Theatre.

“I don’t how they’re going to top the Golden Jubilee event we were involved with, but that’s Gary Barlow’s problem. They’ll have to drop him from a helicopter or something.”
Yeah, because that's the only way they'll top the bloke married to Angie Watts playing a guitar on a roof. There is literally no other way than tossing Gary Barlow out of a helicopter over the crowd, without a parachute, making him play the riff from the Hawaii Five-O theme tune.

Not that May's bitter - did we mention that he's not bitter? - because he's too busy elsewhere:
May says he is, in any case, pre-occupied with the sequel to the West End show We Will Rock You, a celebration of the music of his Queen rock group. “We have it written now,” he says. “I can’t tell you what it will be called, but it’s looking good – we’ve had input from Ben [Elton], who wrote the original and is like a member of the band now, so we talk all the time. We’re looking at where we can take it as it’s at production stages.”
Looking for somewhere to take a sequel to We Will Rock You? I think we can come up with a few ideas.